SYRIA

US Muslim woman convert dies fighting Syrian regime

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 5:35am

A British man named as Ali Almanasfi has been killed while fighting in Syria, together with two other foreigners including an American woman, Syrian TV has reported.

The three were believed to have been killed on Wednesday in Idlib province in the north of Syria. Syrian TV broadcast footage of the dead Briton's passport, which appeared to identify him as 22-year-old Ali Almanasfi, born in London in June 1990.

Syrian TV also identified the dead American woman as Nicole Mansfield, 33, from Michigan. The American woman's family said she had died while apparently fighting with the rebels against government forces. "I'm just devastated," her aunt, Monica Mansfield Speelman, said. "Evidently, she was fighting with opposition forces."

Rami Abdul-Rahman, of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said he did not know the nationality of the third foreigner. He also said it was unclear if the group was affiliated with the moderate Free Syrian Army or a more radical opposition Islamist militia such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front. The three foreigners had almost certainly crossed into Syria from Turkey, either legally or illegally, he added.

Al-Nusra was added to the UN global sanctions list yesterday because of its links to al-Qaeda.

The group is now subject to an international asset freeze and arms embargo.